Boys & Girls Club helps 10-year-old Chloe through challenges of Covid-19
One year ago, 10-year-old Chloe started sewing face masks at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie as a way to help her community. She didn't yet know how much her life was about to change because of the coronavirus.
When schools abruptly shut down in March 2020, Chloe's grandmother and primary caregiver found herself in a stressful situation, needing to continue working but without Chloe's school to provide the stability and security they counted on during the day. Like so many Boys & Girls Clubs across the country, Chloe's Club in central Indiana opened for extended hours to provide a safe space for children of essential workers, including daily meals.
As the weeks turned into months, Chloe not only needed safe and nurturing adult supervision and social interaction; she soon required help with virtual school lessons to stay on track with learning.
Chloe began struggling with her homework. Through small peer groups and individualized mentoring at the Club, she discovered a newfound interest in math and demonstrated measurable academic growth.
Without the Boys & Girls Club, children like Chloe may not have completed school lessons or focused their time on productive activities. A McKinsey and Company report estimates that students, on average, will have lost five to nine months of learning by June 2021, with students of color potentially as far as a full year behind.
In addition to growing learning losses, many of the kids that Boys & Girls Clubs serve have lost access to food, health care, counseling and other essential services to support their overall wellbeing. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that mental-health-related emergency department visits are up significantly for children and teens.
To support kids' emotional needs and create a greater sense of normalcy, Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie collaborated with a local theater company to give kids a creative way to voice their responses to the pandemic by taking on character roles.
"Even behind the masks our kids are wearing, it's clear to see they need us more than they ever have — and they need us in different ways," said Jason Newman, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie. "We must change what we are doing to respond to the changing circumstances facing our youth. We'll continue doing whatever it takes to support them today, so great futures continue to be possible."
Boys & Girls Clubs will continue to be a critical resource as educators and mentors help young people recover learning lost during the pandemic and find the social-emotional support they need to thrive. Learn more about how Clubs are responding to Covid-19.
Boys & Girls Clubs continue to be the place kids, families and communities can count on when community support isn't available. In addition to the programs and resources Clubs always provide, they quickly adapted to help families reeling from job losses, school and childcare closures, and overwhelming food insecurity.
Help Clubs keep doing whatever it takes to support kids like Chloe and their families who continue to struggle from the pandemic's devastating effects. Donate now.